Round 19, 2017

Melbourne’s weather last weekend caught our attention – as well the Mighty Tigers who defeated West Coast at the MCG. The game began in sunshine but ‘torrential rain and occasional lightning and thunder’ featured in the second half. The MCG ground coped well – which is a far cry from yesteryear when grounds flooded to the point that games couldn’t be played.

In 1939 round 18 matches were postponed for a week due to footy fields being flooded, and in the later edition of the Round 19 Footy Record (that week there were two editions), it was noted that it was ‘A Dismal and Barren Day’ when ‘League Games Postponed’ (p3).

‘Chatterer’ described the grounds being ‘quagmires’ (p3). Despite the ‘deplorable conditions’ due to rain, patrons were still being entertained with ‘exhilarating football’ (p9). Chatterer called for more ‘Brains in Football’, however, angered that players weren’t dribbling or kicking the ball ‘off the ground to more open spaces’ (p9). This, along with baulking and side-stepping, were described as a ‘lost art these days’. The pace of the game was identified as the problem: ‘Is it that the fetish for speed and still more speed is robbing the great game of many of its one-time clever features?’ The fetish for speed has certainly continued but players selling the candy and side stepping opponents is not a lost art, and remains a joy to watch.

In terms of how some of the teams played in round 18 of 1939 – the Demons ‘demonstrated their tendency to mix brilliance with mediocrity’ but had managed to beat South Melbourne (p3). Hawthorn was congratulated for their ‘gallant effort’ to have their first victory against the Magpies (aka the Mayblooms) – but the Pies held firm and ‘won the day’ (p4). St Kilda played Geelong in Corio and ‘ran away with the game’ (p6).

The games in round 19 of 1939 were the last in the home-and-away season. The top four teams which would go on to play in the finals was ‘almost set’ but South Melbourne’s form had been good, and it was suggested that they might trouble the Saints who wanted to keep their place in the top 4 (fear not Saints’ fan – they didn’t) (p6).

As we get closer to the finals, those of us in tipping competitions are edging closer to the end of our seasons, and depending on who you’re cheering for and if your team is a chance to play in September, different outcomes for various games will be desired. Given the home teams domination last week – our question to you dear readers is, will the same happen this week too? Friday night’s game suggests this might be true.

Jordy & Mary

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